Natural Sleep Aids and Strategies

There are dozens of drug-free ways to promote good sleep and restfulness, according to the Mayo Clinic. Try these soothing relaxation strategies and solutions before you resort to a sleeping pill.

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Perfume Your Bedroom

You can—and probably should—train your body and mind to relax on cue with soothing bedtime routines and rituals. One of the most powerful triggers is scent, and now there’s a way to enjoy it all night long without letting a candle burn: Molton Brown Sleep Cedrus Room-Aroma Rocks. A blend of cedrus tree oil, sweet Florida orange oil and Bulgarian lavender oil are released into the air all night long, from the tree sap "rocks" drenched in Molton Brown’s nightime relaxation fragrance. Open the lid to activate the aroma. $45., available at MOLTONBROWN.COM
Courtesey of Molton Brown

Block Out Light

Artificial lights from phone chargers, surge protectors, and digital clocks, often invade the darkness of our bedrooms. Even subtle glows can effect the brain’s biorythms and interfere with sleep. To block out all light, try a sleep mask like this cpmfy one from Escape, available for $19.95 from DREAMESSENTIALS.COM

Tune In

Another powerful trigger, music, is a great way to tell your body and mind that it’s time to let go and go to sleep. We like Enya (available on iTUNES.COM) but try whatever lullabye works for you, whether it’s classical, soft rock or jazz.

Perfume Your Bath

Essential oils and warm water may be the perfect recipe for relaxation. As the heat eases your muscles, the aromas tell your mind it’s time to unwind. REN’s Morrocan Rose Otto Bath Oil, $48., is sold on their website, RENSKINCARE.COM

Quiet Your Environment

Turning on white noise, provided via fan, air conditioner, or the Ombusforme Sound Thearpy Relaxation System sold on DREAMESSENTIALS.COM, is another easy nightly ritual that can dramatically improve the quality of your rest. Other auditory offerings: ocean waves. rainfall, or jungle sounds. Want to try it without investing in a gadget? Check out, which offer free sound therapy files such as white noise.

Set the Mood

Leave it to Dr Andrew Weil to dream up a "meditative mood spray" that helps you do mental prep for bed. $25., on sale at ORIGINS.COM

Cover Your Ears

Mack’s waxy earplugs are the ONLY thing that blocks out the snoring in one staffer’s home. DRUGSTORE.COM sells six pair for under $8.


How do you prefer your lavender? L’Occitane offers the calming essential oil in bath salts ($24.), foaming bath soap ($32.), relaxing pillow mist ($20.) and Sweet Dreams spray ($20.). L’OCCITANE.COM
L’Occitane En Provence

Don’t Sweat It

The Chillow helps you cool sleep-disrupting hot flashes fast. $39.95, at CHILLOW.COM

Get Serious About Your Windows

Black out curtains block significantly more light than standard ones, which can make it easier to sleep in or hit the sack early. These room-darkening drapes start at $29.00 at BedBath&

Find the Perfect Pillow

Consumer research suggests that using the right pillow for you does make a real difference. If you sleep on your stomach, try a soft pillow. Back sleeper? Try firm. Side sleepers tend to do well with a medium firmness. Shop at sellers that carry a wide variety, like BedBath&

karam miri

Set the Mood

Soft lighting and a soothing scent? Aromatic candles like this one from

Wake Up Brighter

Philips’ nightstand lamp simulates dusk as well as dawn, which means you can set it to slowly dim and you get ready for bed, and also to wake you with gradual light instead of an audio alarm. Buy it for $199. here. For more sleep advice, including information about over the counter and prescription sleep aids, visit The Mayo Clinic’s Info Center




First Published Fri, 2010-03-19 10:17

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